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October 1987

Pitted Keratolysis: The Role of Micrococcus sedentarius

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia (Drs Nordstrom, Cappiello, and Leyden and Mr McGinley); and Schering Corporation, Bloomfield, NJ (Dr Zechman).

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(10):1320-1325. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660340082025

• Though pitted keratolysis of the foot is generally viewed to be caused by bacteria, there is confusion regarding the identity of the causative organism. Species of Corynebacterium, Actinomyces, Dermatophilus, and Micrococcus have been proposed by various investigators. We have studied eight cases of pitted keratolysis and have cultured an organism identified as Micrococcus sedentarius on the basis of colonial morphology, micromorphology, biochemical reactions, and chemical analysis of whole-cell components. Furthermore, pitted keratolysis was produced experimentally in a human volunteer by applying M sedentarius under an occlusive dressing onto the surface of the heel.

(Arch Dermatol 1987;123:1320-1325)